Dearest ONES,

Part 1... Gum Care
Like many of us, money has become increasingly tight the past few years and I can no longer afford the escalating costs at the dentist. I'm actually astounded at just how much it now costs for even a composite filling, much less a crown! That's why I have been taking such good care of my gums, without which my teeth would have nowhere to live. Because of this, I was not really that surprised during my recent deep cleaning that my gums were declared in great shape, especially since it had been more than 3 years since my last cleaning. This is because I have an inexpensive daily routine that I seldom deviate from that I'm going to share it with you. 


Tools
First of all, after at least 2 of my meals, I use several tools to get the food out from between my teeth, most of which have the brand name G.U.M.  Shocker, right?  Actually, I had not planned it that way, but I guess that is the most popular brand out there and they have quite a selection of these tools. If you can't find this brand in your local pharmacy, you can get their products online. http://www.gumbrand.com  as they have much more than just the brushes. 

To get the stuck food out from between the teeth, I use two different size 'Proxabrush' brushes as the spaces between my teeth vary from front to back. It may take a bit of trial and error to find what works best for you, but it's worth the effort. Then there are the 'Soft-picks', which really help remove plaque between the teeth as they are sort of rubbery and very narrow, which works especially well for very tight spaces. Of course flossing is still very important, so I do that as well, although I get the 'Flossers' or floss-picks because I have several fixed bridges to deal with. All of these can be bought online through G.U.M. or sometimes at the dollar stores. 

I also use 'Stim-u-dent' wooden plaque removers. You simply guide the tip across the gum-line from tooth to tooth, pushing it into the spaces between the teeth.  Last but not least, also from G.U.M. is the  'Stimulator', which is a copper-colored handle with a rubber tip at the end. This one gets BEHIND the teeth because of how it is angled. Like the Stim-u-dent plaque removers, you run it along the gum line paying special attention to the spaces between the teeth. 

I know this routine seems really long, but it probably takes only between 3 and 5 minutes each time. And while its not the only thing I do, it's a huge part of why my gums remain in great shape. BTW, I learned most of these from the dental hygienists, who are, after all, experts on the subject. 

Some folks love water pics, which I used to use tll I found this routine. It is certainly good for getting food out from between the teeth but if you do that, its good to use the 'Soft-pics', 'Stim-u-dents' and  'Stimulator' along with it.

Toothbrush:
Then there is the toothbrush, which is also of course critical to healthy teeth. I used to use an electric one, and I think the Oral B is most recommended by oral hygienists. Because I used to travel a bit, I like the Dr. Tung's Ionic Toothbrush.  It not only cleans your teeth really well, ionically, but is great for the gums.  It is important to angle whichever toothbrush you choose, so as to focus on the gum-line during the cleaning. While one need not use any toothpaste on the Ionic Toothbrush, I like using the toothpaste I make myself. 

Toothpaste:
First of all, it is of utmost importance to NOT use any toothpaste that has glycerine, as that actually prevents teeth from healing themselves (more about that in my next blog).  I create my own toothpaste from equal parts of Organic Coconut Oil and Baking Soda. The coconut oil needs to be soft but not melted (or the baking soda will drop to the bottom).  It is recommended to add peppermint essential oil drops as well. If you have really bad gums, I also recommend adding antibacterial oils such as Tee-tree oil, Oil of Oregano, or possibly Thieves by Young Living Oils. 

Oil Pulling:
Oil Pulling is not only great for your gums, but for detoxifying your body. Here is a video that describes how to do it and the benefits gleaned from it. Perhaps because I eat a very pure, organic diet and take several health products (Biotite & Liph Concentrate   http://zahnsmelange.com/shop/) daily  to help detoxify my body, I don't need as much of the detoxifying effects. But I am sure that this method is helping my gums stay firm and plaque-free. BTW, because I do everything else for my gums, I'm guided to only oil-pull for 10 - 15 minutes a day and I do it in the bath, because a couple of times I coughed while doing it and it was sort of messy, to say the least. 
Also, it is recommended to rinse with baking soda in water, unless you brush afterwards, as I do, with coconut oil/baking soda toothpaste.    
  
Nutrients
The number 1 vitamin for healthy gums is vitamin C. The one I take is organic Camu Camu. It is the most potent for the money... 1/2 tsp yielding a massive 2.5 grams!  Please be aware it tastes quite bitter, so you may want to get it in capsules.  I buy mine at Swanson Vitamins, where I get most of my supplements at great prices. Also important are Vitamins D, A, Folic Acid and Zinc, all of which can be found at discounted prices at Swanson as well. Here is a link that gives more info:  
http://tinyurl.com/j8nsdqo   O ther sites also recommend vitamins B12, E, Calcium and Coenzyme Q10. Use your own guidance as to which ones YOU need. 

Well, I think that does it!  If you have any other tips I may have left out, you can either reply to this blog 
and leave a comment there. 

Till next time, when we cover Part 2 -Achieving Healthy Teeth on a Tight Budget,

Lots of Love, Joy & Health,

Zahn
 
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